September 15, 2017 – MRFF Brings Glaring Public Spotlight On Chaplain’s Blatantly Unconstitutional Behavior and the U.S. Air Force’s Record of Supporting This Serial Religious Bigot & Misogynist 

Chaplain (Captain) Sonny Hernandez, an Air Force Reserve chaplain for the 445th Airlift Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, has accrued a significant history of publicly subverting military regulations, his oath as a commissioned officer, and the U.S. Constitution.  In spite of numerous official complaints lodged against him by MRFF over the course of nearly two and half years, the Air Force has yet to discipline him in any way. On the contrary, he has been lauded and received awards, such as being named the ‘Company Grade Officer of the Year’ for his unit at Wright Patterson AFB.  

 

Chaplain Hernandez cemented his bona fides as a fundamentalist religious bigot by sermonizing that:

-HIV is a “due penalty” for the “detestable and abominable” act of homosexual love.

-In Mark 15:15, the Bible tells us that Pilate, wishing to satisfy the Jews released for them Barabbas and then what happened? They scourged Jesus and delivered him to be crucified.”  “Pilate wishing to satisfy the Jews”?

(note:  This ‘Officer of the Year’ blames “the Jews” in classic Old School anti-Semitic fashion despite the fact that Mark 15:15 doesn’t say “Jews” – it says, “the crowd” or “the people.”)

-those Christians who disagree with him are themselves abominable, unprofitable, and unqualified for every good work, grace or mercy under heaven.

 

Just in case his bona fides as a fundamentalist religious bigot were not sufficient, Chaplain Hernandez doubled-down by commenting earlier this year on Lt. Col. Jonathan Dowty’s “Christian Fighter Pilot” blog that:

I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well:

First, women are not called to be pastors, and since a chaplain is supposed to be a pastor in uniform—it exposes their rebellion.  Second, the office is permitted for men only, and women are prohibited from teaching (1 Timothy 2:12).  Third, people should be very worried when they see women pastors/chaplains teaching. Why? It could be God’s judgment upon them (Isaiah 3, “…and women rule over them”)!

 

…to be followed a couple of months later by Chaplain Hernandez’s post on www.barbwire.com (which also published his book, Homosexual Agenda and the US Military) chastising a fellow Chaplain, a Southern Baptist, for performing his assigned duty to give a policy briefing to his unit on the Army’s new policies on transgender soldiers.  ‘Officer of the Year’ Hernandez rebuked his fellow Chaplain for not ignoring his duty by sermonizing to his troops that “To start, there is no such thing as transgenderism.”  This U.S. Air Force endorsed ‘Officer of the Year’ then sent a sanctimonious letter to the ecclesiastical endorsing agent of his fellow Chaplain telling them that his writing about his fellow Chaplain’s “sin” on worldnetdaily.com was “a necessity” because “public sin must be handled publicly.” 

 

MRFF has extensively reported on Chaplain Hernandez’s religious bigotry, intolerance, and unethical behavior in support of his fellow religious bigot’s (Lt. Col. Jonathan Dowty) unfounded accusations of lying against a superior officer and incoming USAFA Superintendent Brig. Gen. Kristin Goodwin.  However, Chaplain Hernandez, apparently still insecure about his standing amongst his fellow religious fundamentalist bigots and misogynists, publicly instructed members of the U.S. Military in a September 12, 2017 article appearing on www.barbwire.com titled Christian Service Members: Avoid Supporting or Accommodating Evil! to disregard and disobey the Constitution.  

Christian service members who openly profess and support the rights of Muslims, Buddhists, and all other anti-Christian worldviews to practice their religions — because the language in the Constitution permits — are grossly in error, and deceived. Also, is it wrong for a professing Christian service member to say, ‘I support the rights of all Americans to practice their faith since the Constitution protects their rights?’ Absolutely! There is no exegetical support, and no moral justification for any Christian service member to openly profess or support the alleged rights of anti-Christians. Christian service members must share the Gospel with unbelievers so they can be saved, not support unbelievers to worship their false gods that will lead them to hell.

 

In an article posted on The Huffington Post and DailyKos on September 15th, MRFF Senior Research Director Chris Rodda succinctly points out that:

Chaplain Hernandez concludes his article by instructing his fellow Bible-believing chaplains on how to use semantics to evade their duty to provide for the religious needs of all service members, so that they don’t have to “support or accommodate evil”

 

Since MRFF’s Chris Rodda exposed Chaplain Hernandez’s recent article to a much wider public audience via HuffPo & DailyKos, the reporting of the actions by this U.S. Air Force decorated Chaplain/Officer-of-the-Year has gone viral…worldwide.  The following is a list of the social networking/reporting impact of MRFF’s work to encourage the U.S. Air Force to enforce its regulations regarding religious neutrality and accommodation by exposing Chaplain Hernandez’s unethical and un-constitutional actions:

            Newsweek Homepage Story

            Chelsea Clinton Tweets Newsweek Story

            RawStory Reposts Newsweek Story 

            Salon Coverage

            Task & Purpose Coverage

            Baptist Joint Cmte. For Religious Liberty Statement

            Patheos Blog Coverage

            John Q. Public Blog Coverage

            Lawyers, Guns & Money Blog Coverage

            Daily Kos Coverage

            Air Force Times Coverage

            Dayton Daily News Coverage

            The Independent Coverage

AgoraVox Coverage

(note: The AgoraVox Foundation, an independent entity, was officially created on 18 June 2008 and was declared a public utility by the Belgian Minister of Justice on 26 March 2009.)

 

On September 15, 2017, MRFF filed an amended complaint against Chaplain Hernandez with the Dept. of Defense Deputy Inspector General for Administrative Investigations and recommended referral of this matter to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) for a criminal investigation.  MRFF recommends that if Chaplain Hernandez is not criminally prosecuted, he should be discharged as soon as possible and forfeit the privilege of wearing the uniform and holding the status of a commissioned officer within the U.S. armed services.

 

On September 19, 2017, Dianna Cahn of Stars & Stripes reported:

The Air Force said Tuesday it stands behind a Reserve chaplain who has come under fire for saying that Christian service members should not support the rights of other religions to practice their faith, saying “that will lead them to hell.”  Air Force Reserve spokesman Lt. Col. Chad Gibson said Hernandez is expressing his own views, not those of the Air Force, and his freedom to express his own faith is an essential protection in the military. The Air Force is not conducting an investigation, he said.

MRFF at the time called on the Air Force to find Hernandez in violation of his oath of office. [emphasis added]

 

MRFF President/Founder, Mikey Weinstein immediately released a statement correcting the shoddy journalism and blatantly inaccurate reporting on this issue by Stars & Stripes:

 

Firstly, let me emphasize that Stars and Stripes NEVER reached out to MRFF or its legal counsel for comment prior to going to press with their inaccurate breaking story and, had they done so, MRFF would have made it clear that MRFF NEVER “called on the Air Force to investigate Hernandez.” Indeed, we at MRFF long ago gave up expecting ANYONE in the Air Force to enforce its own regulations and the Constitutional mandates to separate church and state and guarantee religious equality within its own ranks. Instead of requesting an investigation from the Air Force, MRFF called upon the Department of Defense Inspector General’s Office (DOD/IG), which has investigatory oversight over the Air Force and the other armed forces branches, to investigate Hernandez regarding this latest shocking incident of his glaring, unconstitutional fundamentalist Christian triumphalism, bullying and oppression.

 

The fact that a lower level spokesperson speaking for the Air Force Reserve has essentially “cleared” Hernandez is essentially meaningless at the present time while the DOD/IG investigation of Hernandez continues now into its 6th month.

 

The Stars & Stripes reporter was forced to immediately publish a correction to her reporting.  Furthermore; due to the massive coverage of this issue and “After initially denying an investigation, the Air Force said Friday that its inspector general’s office is reviewing complaints against reserve chaplain Capt. Sonny Hernandez” according to a follow-up story by Diana Cahn of Stars & Stripes.

 

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